$22 million affordable senior apartment project breaks ground in Wauwatosa

MILWAUKEE, WI (Sean Ryan) - Horizon Development Group Inc. locked in financing from at least six different sources to break ground this month on 101 apartments, most for low-income seniors, in the city of Wauwatosa.

Senior apartments in the $21.7 million Walnut Glen Apartment development will open to tenants in May 2022, said Scott Kwiecinski, development manager for Madison-based Horizon. Those 87 apartments for people aged 55 and up will be in a four-story building, but the project also includes two-story townhomes with three-bedroom apartments that will be rented to families that meet the projects’ income limits, he said.

The project is at 1535 Rivers Bend in Wauwatosa, next to 80 affordable senior apartments that Horizon Development opened 10 years ago. Those are full and have a waiting list of interested tenants, Kwiecinski said.

“It’s a strong market in Wauwatosa for affordable housing and we have the strong interest in Cedar Glen,” he said. “These projects are never easy to do, but I think they have worth.”

Horizon Development secured $1.3 million in affordable housing tax credits last year through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. Wells Fargo invested in those credits. U.S. Bank provided the main project loan. Other financing came through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, and Milwaukee County. Midwest Affordable Housing Corp. is the co-developer.

The financing was able to proceed despite the broader economic upset caused by Covid-19, and increasing costs of construction materials such as lumber, Kwiecinski said.

“Things were just unsettled for a period of time,” Kwiecinski said of the pandemic’s impact. “There was a lot of interest in this location. Prior to the pandemic, we were working with U.S. Bank already.”

Knothe Bruce Architects of Middleton is the project architect, and Horizon Construction Group Inc. is the lead builder.

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